Diamox use

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Re: Diamox use

by Grampahawk » Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:02 pm

I stopped taking it and have had some minor, occasional AMS symtoms (headache, appetitte loss). I'd rather have those than the flat taste of beer/soda and the frequent peeing. The peeing is an issue for the other climbers when I have to stop every 45 minutes, and it's an issue for me when I have to wake up every 45 minutes so don't get any sleep. I do carry it on every trip though, just in case AMS gets really bad, but I've heard that it takes a day for it to fully react. The best advice is to try it locally. I don't know what would happen if you took it and never really went up to any appreciable altutude though, like us "easties".

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Re: Diamox use

by radson » Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:07 pm

How do you differentiate Diamox peeing from acclimatizing peeing??

Certain normal physiologic changes occur in every person who goes to altitude:
- Hyperventilation (breathing faster, deeper, or both)
- Shortness of breath during exertion
- Changed breathing pattern at night
- Awakening frequently at night
- Increased urination


When I was at 3,400 m this year, I was peeing about every hour, was bloody annoying and I wasnt on Diamox. Increased urination is a result of your body acclimatizing. Diamox aids in acclimatizing. From my understanding, If you are drinking and peeing heaps with or without Diamox, it's probably a good thing.

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Re: Diamox use

by WouterB » Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:36 pm

radson wrote:If you are drinking and peeing heaps with or without Diamox, it's probably a good thing.

I agree.

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Re: Diamox use

by sealevelmick » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:30 am

(if anyone finds this thread in the future or is looking now for specific info, i think i remember that there was another diamox thread w/ good points)
what i took away from my single experience with it (besides that it works) is that the recomended dosage on the acetamazolide fact sheet was too high (i only took half).
also, from what i understand (and please correct me if im wrong), that even if not planning on using it, its nice to have to buy a little time to get someone down in the event someone is having a serious negative reaction to the elevation.
also, i remember it being cheap and what i had left over i gave to the local search and rescue folks because i guess its not always readily available for them.

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Re: Diamox use

by CBakwin » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:53 pm

I take half a pill twice a day when I feel my acclimatization program is a bit lacking...just to be sure. And jsut for 24 hours before a climb...Why take a chance when you have put so much effort getting to a far off mountain.

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Re: Diamox use

by rgg » Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:08 pm

The first time I ever packed Diamox in my mecical kit was when I went to Bolivia, in 2009. Before that, I had climbed just one peak over 5000 m (and had a mild headache while doing so), but now my sights were set on several peaks over 6000 m.

The plan was not to take Diamox preemptively, but carry it just in case I would find myself in real trouble with AMS on a mountain, in which case I would take it just to be able to descend safely. Right before traveling to Bolivia I had been in the Alps and as a result of that, fortunately, I had no altitude problems at all. Sure, I was a bit slow at first, but after three weeks, I could even run in La Paz (ok, I'll admit it, it was just a short, slow jog).

Then, last December I went to Ecuador and I carried it again. This time I came straight from Amsterdam, had less time and rather ambitious plans and as a result I woke up with a mild headache for the first couple of days. Paracetamol did a good job in suppressing that. However, by the end of the third day my aggressive schedule caught up with me. The headache returned during the day and didn't even go away when we descended, I had no appetite and felt generally poor. Of course, that doesn't necessarily have to be altitude sickness, but when in doubt, I understand it's safer to assume that it is. The next few peaks in my plan would be higher again, so I decided to start taking Diamox preemptively and see if it would help. The prescription read

"half a pill in the morning, one pill in the evening, and continue for three days after the symptoms are gone".

The next three days I still woke up with a mild head ache, for which I took paracetamol in addition to the Diamox. After that, I didn't have any problems anymore - even though it still took a couple more days before I wasn't slow anymore.


Despite this success, in the future, I plan to reserve a bit more time for acclimatization, so I won't need Diamox, but just in case I don't have enough time, I now know that it works for me.


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